Producers of Vijay-starrer Sarkar Bow Down to AIADMK Pressure, Agree to Cuts
On Thursday, party cadre attacked theatres in Tiruppur and Salem districts, tearing down the cut-outs and posters of the film. They also attacked the manager of SVR theatre in Tiruppur. Iconic theatres such as Kasi and Devi also witnessed demonstrations as AIADMK men objected to some references made to former chief minister late J Jayalalithaa in the movie.
Bowing down to pressure, Sun Pictures has made certain cuts to the film. While it has deleted a scene in which a mixer-grinder is thrown in the fire, it has also muted the sound of ‘Komala’ from the word ‘Komalavalli’ and removed it from the subtitles. A dialogue with the word ‘Podhhupaaniththurai’ in reel 4 has been muted, so has another dialogue with the words ‘56 varusham’ in reel 7.
After the film’s producers agreed to the removal of certain controversial scenes relating to the AIADMK, the ruling party called off the protests, saying that the “issue has come to an end”. It also declared that it would not stage any more protests against the film.
“We believe they (Sarkar team) have realised that they have hurt people’s sentiments and have come forward to remove the scenes…it is welcome. So the issue has come to an end,” Information and Publicity Minister Kadambur C Raju said.
“The protests will not continue,” he added.
The ruling AIADMK was up in arms against the film, with senior party leader and fisheries minister D Jayakumar wanting to know why certain references deemed to be that to the late Jayalalithaa had found their way into the script. Law Minister Shanmugham had said certain scenes amounted to inciting violence and warned of action.
“The scenes relating to burning of government welfare amount to inciting of violence. It is not less than a terrorist instigating people for violence. Whether it is the producer (Sun Pictures) or the actor (Vijay), or theatres — they will have to face action,” he told reporters.
Coming out in support for the film, Tamil superstar Rajinikanth on Friday lashed out at the ruling party, questioning the rationale behind protesting against a film certified by the Censor Board. He also “strongly condemned” the demands for deletion of scenes.
“It is against the law to hold protests seeking removal of some scenes from a Censor board certified film and trying to stall the screening and damaging the banners,” he tweeted.
In the wake of the protests, the film’s director AR Murugadoss had requested for an anticipatory bail. The Madras High Court has asked the Chennai Police to not arrest the Murugadoss till November 27.
In his petition, Murugadoss had said he did not make the movie with an intention to hurt anyone. The petition added that people or activists have not protested against the movie but it’s the ruling government, which is protesting and it is against the law to demand deletion of scenes after the movie has been certified by the censor board. After hearing the director’s bail plea, the Madras high court restrained Tamil Nadu police from arresting him.
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